Bruce and Joann Felton and 12 year old daughter Bella joined Advent a few years ago. (Thank you, Isabella, for attending VBS and Sunday School with your school/Girl Scout friends and bringing your parents along!) At the time Bruce’s mother was attending with them too before she passed away.
Bruce was born in Russell Twp, graduated from West Geauga H.S., and received a degree in Criminal Justice from OSU in 1985. He joined the Solon Police force in 1990 and just retired two years ago. Along the way he served with the Army National Guard as a medic, worked in security at Kent State, received EMT training, worked as a part-time firefighter for Russell Twp., and graduated from the Police Academy in Columbus. While with Solon, he served in just about every capacity: undercover, detective, and finally administering training programs.
By comparison, Joann admits that her family life in the Broadway/Fleet area of Cleveland was not simple or easy, with parents with addictions, imprisonment, and a complicated blending of half-siblings. As the oldest girl in 7 children, Joann saw herself as the responsible one, and still serves as the “glue” that binds everyone together. She credits teachers and older cousins for the encouragement that gave her confidence in life. She graduated from Cleveland South and kept taking jobs, classes, and the many exams and interviews that led into law enforcement, like court reporting and being a corrections officer in North Royalton for 8 years. Finally her reputation for common sense, bravery, and physical ability got out, bringing more and more opportunities. Finally Solon enticed her into their department in 2001. Mostly she has been on patrol, car and bicycle, and later became the area DARE instructor.
Bruce and Joann met on the force in Solon and were married in 2007 -- at the Jefferson Memorial in D.C., no less – surely that's a story in itself! Bruce and Joann have obviously worked well to mesh three daughters from previous marriages. In fact, the honeymoon evidently turned out to be a family cruise! And now all the girls are very good friends and great big sisters to Bella, now 13: Gwendolyn 19, Dylana 22 (she manages the fascinating Duck Donut shop in the new shopping area near Whole Foods in Beachwood), and Ashley 28 (who just earned a Masters in Finance and works at a health care facility in North Royalton).
Since retiring, Bruce has created a small landscaping company "Star Maintenance" (so named so he can continue to wear a badge!) He's also very keen on fitness. Fortunately for our congregation, he also enjoys music of many kinds and plays the guitar (he was a great addition to our praise band on Axis days, may these days return quickly!).
Joanne loves fitness, running, people, and organizing parties. Even during this shut-down time, they have had “Felton Fridays” for a small group of friends and their children. She loves to bring people together. 2021 is the year to retire from the force, so we look forward to hearing of her next adventures.
Join us in Living the Story Together!